Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/18/1996 01:05 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE March 18, 1996 1:05 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Brian Porter, Chairman Representative Joe Green, Vice Chairman Representative Con Bunde Representative Bettye Davis Representative Al Vezey Representative Cynthia Toohey Representative David Finkelstein MEMBERS ABSENT None COMMITTEE CALENDAR Confirmation of Sharon Nahorney to the Commission of Judicial Conduct HOUSE BILL 493 "An Act relating to involuntary commitment for alcoholism or drug abuse." - CSHB 493 (JUD) MOVED FROM COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL 479 An Act relating to civil liability for injuries or death resulting from equine activities." - CSHB 479 (L&C) MOVED FROM COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL 318 "An Act relating to advance directives for mental health treatment." - CSHB 318 (JUD) MOVED FROM COMMITTEE HOUSE BILL 359 "An Act relating to the appointment and confirmation process for member of certain boards, commissions, and similar bodies; relating to terms of certain appointees; and providing for an effective date." - CSHB 359 (JUD) MOVED FROM COMMITTEE PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 493 SHORT TITLE: INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT:ALCOHOL/DRUG ABUSE SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) IVAN JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/09/96 2698 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/09/96 2698 (H) JUDICIARY, FINANCE 02/23/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 02/23/96 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 02/26/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 02/26/96 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 03/08/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 (H) MINUTE(JUD) 03/18/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 479 SHORT TITLE: IMMUNITY FOR EQUINE ACTIVITIES SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) G. DAVIS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/07/96 2650 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/07/96 2650 (H) LABOR & COMMERCE, JUDICIARY 02/28/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 02/28/96 (H) MINUTE(L&C) 03/06/96 (H) L&C AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 17 03/08/96 3025 (H) L&C RPT CS(L&C) 3DP 2NR 03/08/96 3025 (H) DP: PORTER, SANDERS, KOTT 03/08/96 3025 (H) NR: ELTON, KUBINA 03/08/96 3026 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DCED) 03/18/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 318 SHORT TITLE: MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT DECLARATIONS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) TOOHEY,B.Davis JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 04/21/95 1427 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 04/21/95 1427 (H) HES, JUDICIARY 03/07/96 (H) HES AT 4:00 PM CAPITOL 106 03/07/96 (H) MINUTE(HES) 03/08/96 3021 (H) HES RPT 5DP 1NR 03/08/96 3021 (H) DP: ROKEBERG, BUNDE, TOOHEY, ROBINSON 03/08/96 3021 (H) DP: BRICE 03/08/96 3021 (H) NR: G.DAVIS 03/08/96 3021 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DHSS) 03/18/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 BILL: HB 359 SHORT TITLE: APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR BDS & COMM'NS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) PORTER,Green JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 12/29/95 2360 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/08/96 2360 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/08/96 2360 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY 03/07/96 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/07/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/09/96 (H) STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102 03/11/96 3056 (H) STA RPT 2DP 2NR 1AM 03/11/96 3056 (H) DP: PORTER, GREEN 03/11/96 3056 (H) NR: IVAN, ROBINSON 03/11/96 3056 (H) AM: JAMES 03/11/96 3056 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (GOV) 03/12/96 3099 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 03/18/96 (H) JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120 WITNESS REGISTER SHARON NAHORNEY Courtwatch Director Victims for Justice 619 E. Fifth Avenue Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 278-0977 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified regarding confirmation to the Commission of Judicial Conduct REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 503 Juneau, Alaska 99501-2133 Telephone: (907) 465-4942 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified regarding HB 493 as sponsor BARBARA BRINK, Esq. Alaska Public Defenders Agency 900 West 5th, Suite 200 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 264-4400 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified regarding HB 493 SHANNON O'FALLON, Esq. Human Services Section Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-3600 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on HB 493 DIRK NELSON Alaska Civil Liberties Union P.O. Box 2437 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Telephone: (907) 835-5894 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified regarding HB 493 KATHI BURNS, Clinical Director Northern Lights Recovery Center P.O. Box 305 Nome, Alaska 99762 Telephone: (907) 443-3312 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified regarding HB 493 DONALD DAPCEVICH, Executive Director Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110607 Juneau, Alaska 99801-0607 Telephone: (907) 465-2071 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified regarding HB 493 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 420 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-2693 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as sponsor regarding HB 479 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY Alaska State Legislature State Capitol, Room 104 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-4919 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as sponsor regarding HB 318 LEONARD ABEL, PhD Mental Health Services Program Division of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Department of Health & Social Services P.O. Box 110620 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0620 Telephone: (907) 465-3370 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information regarding HB 318 DOROTHY PEAVEY, Executive Director Mental Health Consumers of Alaska 430 W 7th Ave, #220 Anchorage, Alaska 99501 Telephone: (907) 277-3817 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information regarding HB 318 RICHARD RAINERY, Executive Director Alaska Mental Health Board 431 N. Franklin, Suite 101 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4765 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information regarding HB 318 TERRI LAUTERBACH, Esq. Legislative Legal and Research Services 130 Seward Street, Suite 409 Juneau, Alaska 99801-2105 Telephone: (907) 465-2450 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information regarding HB 318 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-36, SIDE A Number 000 CHAIRMAN BRIAN PORTER called the House Judiciary committee meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Green, Bunde, Toohey and Davis. Representative Finkelstein arrived at 1:07 p.m. and Representative Vezey at 1:22 p.m. There were no members absent. CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that the committee's first order of business was to consider the confirmation of Sharon Nahorney to the Commission of Judicial Conduct. He then introduced Ms. Nahorney. Number 089 SHARON NAHORNEY, Court Watch Director, Victims for Justice, testified by telephone from Anchorage. She stated that she was pleased that the governor had asked her to be on the Alaska Judicial Conduct Commission. She had already served for four years on this commission and felt as though her Court Watch experience, along with Victims for Justice had been beneficial. She also felt as though she had a unique public perspective to bring to this forum. She asked the legislature to confirm her. Ms. Nahorney said that this public entity was absolutely vital and has seen a lot of changes in format as result. She felt as though people were treated more fairly, with more dignity and respect by having more vocal people on this commission, which has made a big difference. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY said she was delighted that Ms. Nahorney was going to accept this appointment again. She felt that Alaska was a better state for Ms. Nahorney's oversight. Representative Toohey then made a motion to move the recommendation of Ms. Nahorney to the Commission of Judicial Conduct to be considered by the House floor. There being no objection it was so moved. HB 493 INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT:ALCOHOL/DRUG ABUSE Number 330 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN came forward to present testimony on HB 493 as sponsor. He stated that some concerns arose from the previous testimony on HB 493 and he noted that these concerns have been addressed by his staff. Representative Ivan listed all the entities which came together to discuss changes to this legislation. REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN made a motion to adopt version (G) of CSHB 493 as the committee's working document. There being no objection it was so moved. Number 529 BARBARA BRINK, Attorney, Alaska Public Defenders Agency testified from Anchorage by teleconference. She stated that she appreciated the input by the various entities to ensure that this legislation passed constitutional muster, but she expressed some still exisiting legal concerns whether or not this legislation would violate constitutional due process. She noted that this might be beyond their fixing. She believed the impetus for this bill was to make it easier for substance abuse counselors and concerned family members and friends to involuntarily commit someone in order that the client must participate in treatment. MS. BRINK stated that normally, before the state can lock up someone against their will, they have to prove that the state has a valid and strong interest in locking this person up because the fundamental rights and liberties requires strict scrutiny. This means that a person remaining at large or at liberty has to be balanced against the state's interest in curtailing this liberty. The previous standard requires that a person has to be demonstratively shown to be dangerous to themselves or others. The previous language in the statute requires some proof regarding the likelihood of an infliction of physical harm on another person. This is why it was so difficult to lock someone up in requiring them to have treatment against their will. This is a difficult standard to meet. MS. BRINK went on to note that the current standard in this bill and the CS just adopted is worded so broadly that it has due process problems. She thought that the concept of dangerousness was a constitutional requirement that this present bill does not require. For example, she asked if this legislation covered a person who is defined to be incapacitated by alcohol or drugs simply if their judgment is so impaired that they are not making rational decisions regarding their treatment. This could include anybody who is a user or an abuser who does not want to go to treatment. The second prong of the test is whether or not they're at risk of serious physical harm or illness unless committed, the "or illness" prong caused concerns for her. MS. BRINK stated that interpreted broadly this legislation could include someone who smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. They are certainly placing themselves in serious risk of harm or illness, they have demonstrated an increased tolerance for cigarettes and the drug contained in them, they suffer from withdrawal and it's a significant habit to their health. By interpreting the language of this bill at face value, she felt it was not strict enough to pass constitutional muster. She also noted some procedural safe guards which were missing, for example, in a civil commitment proceeding the state has to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a person should be committed. They have to place someone at the very closest facility available and they're entitled to a hearing, which could be a problem. This hearing problem should be corrected, because under a mental health commitment they are entitled to a hearing within 72 hours and as Ms. Brink read the CS this could be up to 10 days after the hearing. MS. BRINK said that for all these reasons she has legal concerns about the bill, but as a public defender she also has some policy concerns. She said that they were talking about a very valuable and limited resource which was their alcohol treatment facilities. She has represented many people who fall within these definitions of alcoholic or drug abuser. Her own personal experience has been that those people who are going to benefit from treatment are those who find it within themselves who are self-motivated and finally reach that point in their lives where they actively seek out the treatment themselves. MS. BRINK noted that what they were doing was forcing people who are not at this willing point into these limited treatment beds and they were taking those options away from people who might most benefit from them. She felt as though the success rates for treatment bear out her personal experience, that people who actively seek out treatment, who are willing and able benefit from this treatment. She also felt that this legislation could have an unfair impact on rural citizens. In many small towns and villages there are no facilities available. She wondered about the impact of this bill by taking someone out of their home village and shipping them to Anchorage. Number 817 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked that in her experience did Ms. Brink know whether or not that the state was putting people through treatment now, but just in a different form. He asked if they go through some type of patrol picked up and then placed in a detox program. He asked if these programs were involuntary as well. MS. BRINK answered yes, but that this sort of commitment was for a very limited period of time, up to twelve hours only until they are no longer so incapacitated. She understood that Juneau has used the involuntary civil commitment procedure to try to force treatment on other people, but it has been found not to be a workable solution in other communities. Number 890 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN understood that detox treatment was for three days. MS. BRINK responded that these inebriates can be required to stay up to 72 hours if someone files a petition. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY stated that she absolutely agreed with Ms. Brink, unless someone wants to stop drinking it's pointless to put them anywhere. She thought that the cost of this program was prohibitive. She asked about a fiscal note with this CS and although she applauded Representative Ivan's desire to help every alcoholic, she stated, "you can only take a horse to water, you can't make them drink." Number 990 SHANNON O'FALLON, Department of Law, Human Services Section, testified to the constitutional issues regarding HB 493. She stated that Ms. Brink was correct about the Supreme Court requiring some levels of dangerousness in order for the state to commit someone. The Supreme Court has addressed this issue in the context of mental health issues and she imagined it would be the same. If there's someone who suffers from mental illness or from alcoholism or drug abuse, to the extent it's either making them a danger to themselves or to others, or incapacitating them to a level that they can't care for themselves, she felt that the state's interest in treating these individuals and forcing them into treatment meets the constitutional requirements. MS. O'FALLON stated that Ms. Brink may also be right that in the definition of incapacitated by alcohol or drugs, it may be that they may need to change an "or" there to "and". This would be on page 7, line 22. It is probably not enough to have someone be incapacitated by alcohol or drugs and incapable of making rational decisions for treatment, this probably isn't enough to commit someone. There then has to be another level met which would require that these individuals are unable to care for their basic needs. If the word "or" after the word treatment was changed to "and" then this should be sufficient. The level of dangerousness would be the individual not being able to care for themselves. This would take care of some of Ms. Brink's concerns. MS. O'FALLON noted that the issue of proving that someone is a danger to others under the previous standard is not true. The standard was an "or" situation as well, incapacitated by alcohol or a danger to others. It is not necessary to have both. Number 1123 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked about the "group" on 4th Avenue in Anchorage who live in tents as a reference to page 7, line 22 which outlined "persons basic safety or personal needs, including food, clothing, shelter, or medical care." She noted that her objective for food, clothing and shelter is not the same as everybody else. There are people living in tents and eating out of "whatever." She added that this was not her norm, but it is certainly the norm for this group. CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that the amendment raised by the Department of Law was small enough and manageable enough to take care of in committee. REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move the amendment as noted. On page 7, line 22 delete the word "or" and replace it with the word "and". There being no objection it was so moved. Number 1228 DIRK NELSON, Alaska Civil Liberties Union testified by teleconference from Valdez. He stated that the Alaska Civil Liberties Union opposed this bill on the grounds that it expands the scope of the statute from alcohol to drugs without clearly defining what drugs are. He used the example of a hyperactive child taking drugs to help correct their condition. Under this legislation such a child could theoretically be committed. This legislation removes harm to others as a standard and (indisc. - coughing) the words "greatly disabled" were the standard. This could multiply to an individual being able to function in meeting their needs or potential harm to themselves or others in an imminent way. It removes the right to a jury trial in the first phase. The period of time was changed for someone to be committed from 90 to 180 days. MR. NELSON then asked to testify to this legislation not as a representative of the Alaska Civil Liberties Union, but as an individual. He noted the disparity of the target populations within the legislation. A reference in the legislation is made to alcoholics with an implication of physical dependence, but in reference to drug abusers there is no indication of physical addiction or dependence. He noted that there was a great deal of disparity of defining what is a drug abuser. Drug treatment as a service is questionable at best regarding it's success. Alaska has no scientific data regarding the effectiveness. MR. NELSON pointed out that drug users are the most systemically discriminated against group in society despite constitutional rulings stating, for example, that marijuana cultivation or use in private is not a state legal issue. Inaccurate data has been used in Luki v. Neighbors and the Treasury Bureau, as well as other urine testing cases that have depicted drug users as being greatly responsible for costs to the economic system. He noted the Firestone Study. MR. NELSON noted that language in HB 493 states that a refusal of a physical exam will not be used as evidence as lack of judgment, yet it mandates that this evidence be entered into the petition and later considered. Despite an apparent attempt to better define the original and poorly constructed language in this bill, there remains a great deal of room for interpretation. It is this type of interpretation that he fears later will be put to misuse. The inability to hold a job may be perceived under this bill to include anyone who is terminated for a urine test without taking into account whether they were legally eligible to be tested in the first place. MR. NELSON noted that previous court decisions have indicated that forced medical care is not to be administered without there being some degree of imminent danger of harm to self or others. He wondered about someone who is wrongly locked up by testimony of a family member who does not meet the criteria to do so. He mentioned the cost issue of this legislation. He also used mortality rates, such as heart disease which kills well over a half a million people, yet he noted that the government isn't jailing people for eating fried chicken. Tobacco kills over 450 thousand people a year and the government still subsidizing this. Alcohol kills 158 thousand people a year. Illicit substances combined kill 11 thousand people per year, a mere pittance in contrast to the others, but they seem to be pursuing these people with a vigor, including taking their jobs away and locking them into institutions. He said he was greatly concerned about the intent of this bill. Number 1607 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked Mr. Nelson if he knew of instances where chronic alcoholics were a danger to the mental health of others. MR. NELSON said that yes he had, but this did not meet the criteria or the intent of the law. Personally, listening to various political speeches he added was a danger to his mental health, but this should not give him the opportunity to lock a person up. Number 1660 KATHI BURNS, Clinical Director, Northern Lights Recovery Center, testified on HB 493 by teleconference from Nome. She stated that she represented the Norton Sound region with her testimony. Norton Sound has the highest suicide rate in Alaska. This rate does not include the drowning or environmental deaths. Their environmental deaths, 85 percent of which are from excessive cold and alcohol related. They have the second highest homicide rate in the state. They have the third highest poisoning death rate in the state, 76 percent of which are alcohol related. They have the highest firearm death rate in Alaska and suicide represents 65.2 percent of the firearm deaths of this suicide rate. The major number of suicides are alcohol related. Ms. Burns noted that they have 49 times higher alcohol and drug related deaths than in the lower 48 states. MS. BURNS stated that their concern in the Norton Sound area is that they have a great deal of alcohol problems in the region and they do not have a detox facility available for their region. They would like to see some consideration in the bill to give licensed clinical social workers or some other qualified personnel the responsibility of providing some of the court testimony or some of the work load in order that their physicians won't be overwhelmed with this particular commitment issue. Number 1780 MS. O'FALLON said she believed under AS 47.37.170 that a physician's assistant can do an evaluation. She noted that the location of this language was at regulation cited as 7 AAC 29.08.0 which states that "an individual performing duties under AS 47.37.170.C as a qualified health practitioner must hold a valid license under AS.08 as a physician, a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner." For a 12 hour hold someone other than a physician can do the evaluation. She thought that Mr. Dapcevich could speak to broadening the definition of who can do them. Number 1828 DON DAPCEVICH, Executive Director, Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Department of Health & Social Services, said that without a doubt a clinical social worker or a credentialed chemical dependency person can very well provide the behavioral clinical data, however, in most cases they deal with people who are severely debilitated medically as a result of their use of alcohol or drugs. A medical practitioner would probably have to speak to the practitioner issues if they have decreased liver functioning or kidney problems, etc. These are people who are severely debilitated medically. Generally speaking, to protect the rights of the person committed, there is an obligation to have a medical physician to exam the client and provide input to the courts. MS. O'FALLON added that with the mental health commitment, under Title 47, in order to commit someone for 30 days a physician is also required as part of this procedure, either a physiatrist or a physician. Number 1888 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY referred to page 2, line 22 and noted that especially in the rural areas there are village health aids that are very qualified to be added to this legislation, as well as nurse practitioners, to at least initiate this treatment. She noted that they were only allowed a 12 hour hold. MR. DAPCEVICH noted that the 12 hour time frame was the limited time which a person can be held in protective custody by the jail. This 12 hour figure is based on a clinical rather than an administrative basis. It's not recommended to keep people in jail who are entering withdrawal. Withdrawal usually begins after about 12 hours. In a detox facility they are allowed to hold someone up to 72 hours and after this time an individual can refuse treatment. MR. DAPCEVICH pointed out that the involuntary commitment section of the statute is to target those people, for example, who had 170 twelve hour holds in a local jail in Fairbanks. He didn't know how many detox visits this person had and/or, how many aborted treatments there were, but these are people where if these days are totaled up, they're either involved in the judicial system or the medical system on a daily basis. Detox is extremely time consuming and expensive. The department would do far better to use less expensive treatment dollars to treat these individuals rather than to continually cycle them through a detox or jail. MR. DAPCEVICH stated that what they attempted to do in the last go around was to make the rest of the statute, not necessarily those sections involved with involuntary commitment, but to make them consistent. He noted that slight changes were made in the other sections, such as dealing with 12 hour holds, just to make the language consistent throughout the statute. They made no substantial changes in those other portions of the statute. MR. DAPCEVICH continued by responding to a question by Chairman Porter about what defines a drug user. He stated that the definition is consistent with alcohol. They were speaking to the title, "An act related to treatment of alcoholism or drug abuse." The definition in the statute is consistent between alcohol and drug abuse. It specifically speaks to drug addiction. On page 7, Section 13 deals with the definition of addiction. Number 2090 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked how this definition could be used to apply and differentiate between nicotine use to crack cocaine. He asked if these both fell under the definition. MR. DAPCEVICH clarified that crack cocaine on the one hand meets the component dealing with a person being unable to make rational decisions because of impaired mental function. Nicotine does not impair mental function. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY took exception with this statement. She said he had never tried to quit. MR. DAPCEVICH said he didn't speak to trying to quit or addiction, but to mental functioning in relation to an ability to make decisions for the need for treatment. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said that it's all arguable. If someone is addicted to a substance and they know it will kill them, but yet they continue to do it. The point was made that a lot of situations can fall into this. He referred to the definition on page 3 and said he shared the concerns expressed about this. He quoted that the person has to be "an alcoholic or drug abuser" which means they have an addiction level and they then must be either incapacitated or under a risk of serious physical harm or illness. He noted that plenty of drugs including legal and illegal certainly constitute serious physical harm. He thought that this was a pretty broad category when applied to the world of drugs whether people are consuming them legally or illegally. MR. DAPCEVICH noted that the referral early on deals with the issue of removing a person from physical harm during a 12 hour hold, which might be done with someone who is not addicted to alcohol or drugs, or someone who needs (indisc. - coughing) because they are not able to fend for themselves in terms of their own safety. This does not speak to addiction at all, but speaks only to protective custody. When speaking about involuntary commitment, which is a different portion of the statute it's used in those cases where there are all the markers for addiction, as well as, the other portion of the statute dealing with a person being able to provide for their own safety. Number 2217 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said that this went to the heart of the point. This was the issue before them. He read from the involuntary commitment section and he still didn't see how this differentiation was made. He again used the example of nicotine and stated that it meets the requirement for addiction and under this section the person has to be either incapacitated or who, if not treated, will be at risk of serious harm or illness. He asked that if someone smokes 4 packs a day are they not at risk of serious physical harm or illness. Number 2303 CHAIRMAN PORTER wondered if they could somehow write this "illegal drugs" phrase specifically into the legislation so it was more clear. MR. DAPCEVICH agreed that they could. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if it would be a simple matter to add illicit drugs or a term like this into the appropriate places through a conceptual amendment. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated that the use of prescription drugs is a major drug problem. CHAIRMAN PORTER responded that these are controlled substances and he didn't really mean illicit, but controlled substances which would include prescription drugs. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said that his point was that people are addicted to prescription drugs just as they are addicted to alcohol or illegal drugs. They have the same problems and pose the same danger to society. It's hard to differentiate for purposes of debate. Number 2437 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to conceptually amend the bill to include the term controlled substances where appropriate. There being no objection amendment number 2 passed. TAPE 96-36, SIDE B Number 000 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS noted that the legislation since the last meeting didn't sound any different. The scope of it seemed more broad regarding who can actually be placed in an involuntary situation. She wanted to know more specifically those areas which were worked on since the last meeting. Representative Davis also added that the legislation still did not address the lack of bed space for these individuals. Number 061 MR. DAPCEVICH stated that the aims of this legislation was to base a commitment on sound clinical measures. It ensures that the courts have the latitude necessary to make treatment decisions which are appropriate to the severity of the problem before them with reasonable expectations of success. This legislation protects the rights of these clients. The legislation is more consistent now than before in regard to the mental health commitments, as versus the alcohol and now other drug abuse commitments. The changes also made this legislation more user friendly for treatment programs, especially in the bush communities. MR. DAPCEVICH said that this legislation would not change the status quo initially. It will take a period of time, in fact years, to affect the change necessary to have this long impact on treatment programs. First of all, this is the type of treatment where they won't bring a commitment if they don't have a bed available to put a person in. In this way, it's self-limiting. The expansion of the involuntary commitment time is not an absolute, but an allowance on an individual basis. Number 157 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN lodged one of his concerns that this process might be used to solve internal domestic disputes by a relative. MR. DAPCEVICH noted that for someone to be unjustly committed would involve the collusion of a treatment professional, the family member, and the physicians, as well as, the courts. He thought that there were safeguards built in to prevent this from happening. Certainly, on the other hand, the people who are most likely to be committed by a family member are those who a family member can no longer handle for whatever reason. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY stated that she had some concerns about the cost of this program. She asked for the cost figures. MR. DAPCEVICH noted that there was a fiscal note attached to this legislation. With response to the cost of this program, they're bearing these costs right now in the emergency rooms, in the detox centers and the jails, etc. In response to the statement that treatment doesn't work for people who don't want treatment there is a preponderance of empirical evidence which indicates that nearly everyone who comes forward for treatment is coming forward because they are being coerced either by their families, the courts, their employer, etc. Basically, people do not want treatment and success rates are not necessarily positively correlated between a person's willingness to undergo treatment. Number 361 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY responded by stating that "the day we said we will take this on as a medical problem was the day we made a big mistake...alcoholism should not be lumped into medical problems. It should be lumped into something other than a disease. It is a personal problem you have and of course some people have more of a problem saying no. That to me is our major problem that we've taken on the care and feeding of a group of people that don't want care and feeding." CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that "in all fairness the alternative is much more dismal from what we're doing right now. This bill is an attempt to try to do a little better with the alternative. Quite frankly the U.S. Supreme Court has brought to us by saying that public intoxication should be decriminalized in the first place. We had a way of treating people who didn't want to be treated, it was called the correctional system. We can't do that anymore. This bill isn't the enemy." Number 416 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said that he didn't disagree with this statement, but in the area of drugs they still do have the correctional system and he could see the logic of this legislation as it applies to alcohol. MR. DAPCEVICH stated that there is often a situation which will present itself where an individual is incapacitated by drugs and putting themselves and others in harms way. He noted that where an involuntary commitment is an appropriate option the people involved cannot prove any drug use or there is no case to be formed for drug use, but the individual might be addicted to prescription drugs or crack cocaine where there can be a more legal case made, it is from a medical and safety standpoint to put them in a treatment facility rather than jail. This does not in any way affect the legal consequences of illegal drug use. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER pointed out the amount of time the criminal justice system would be saved if an addict went successfully through this system as an alternative. Number 570 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN made a motion to move CSHB 493 (G) out of the House Judiciary Committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note as amended. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if anyone had an interest in an amendment to leave this legislation to solely alcohol. Number 602 CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that frankly he would be surprised if very many pure drug abusers would find themselves in this program. What this will do is eliminate the debate about how much of a person's problem is the result of alcohol use or how much is due to their using drugs at the time of an involuntary commitment hearing. If they do, this would probably mean they're so far "down the tube" they would need this program anyway. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said she would be interested in Representative Finkelstein's proposal, although she said she was convinced that even though the presenters of the legislation think it would have an impact, she felt as though this program would not do a whole lot. Number 660 CHAIRMAN PORTER said that it was his impression about the function of this bill is that it's available for a few isolated individual cases which every community has. It would be for the individuals described who are going through detox 100 times and literally spending thousands of dollars in this process. An acholic who has been sick for a long time doesn't get rational for sometimes three months. A longer period of involuntary commitment can sometimes get a person to this point. "We don't have an answer for alcoholism, if we did, we'd do it." REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN said that he wouldn't be offering an amendment as described. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that they had a motion to move this legislation as described. There being no objection it was so moved. HB 479 - IMMUNITY FOR EQUINE ACTIVITIES Number 728 CHAIRMAN PORTER introduced House Bill 479 and Representative Gary Davis as sponsor came forward to outline for the committee this legislation. REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS stated that he represented District 8, an areas from Soldotna to Seward and noted that it wasn't the horse capitol of the state, but it was fairly close. He outlined that HB 479 was a bill to limit the civil liability of persons who are involved with equine activities throughout the state. He noted several exclusions in this legislation, which was due to the innate nature of equine animals. If someone is not familiar with how to handle these animals there is opportunity for injury and certainly at no fault of the owners or sponsors of the animals as indicated in the sponsor statement. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS stated that there were a number of exceptions to the legislation, such as gross negligence and allowing someone unfamiliar with these activities to participate, as well as, a provision for spectators and faulty equipment utilized in this activity as well. He noted that there were a number of definitions which clarify what is outlined in the legislation. Number 920 CHAIRMAN PORTER outlined an amendment to HB 478 which would essentially delete the last half of line 13 on page one, and line 14. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS agreed with this amendment as illustrated. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN offered this amendment number one for consideration by adding the words "gross, or" on line 11, page 1 and to make the changes as Chairman Porter indicated, beginning with the middle of line 13 on page one, to delete the remainder of the sentence, beginning with the phrase, "for purposes of." Number 980 CHAIRMAN PORTER reiterated this amendment number 1, which basically amounted to recognizing the inherent risk of equine activities, but not to include a limitation of liability for gross negligence. The amendment read as follows: "(1) gross negligence or reckless or intentional misconduct of the equine activity sponsor, equine professional, or equine owner, or agents or employees of the equine activity sponsor, equine professional, or equine owner;" There being no objection this amendment was moved. Number 998 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN stated that they see a lot of these bills with excepted liabilities and asked what it was about horse activities that should allow for an exception as versus ones for bicycle activities, for example. What is it that's inherent in riding a horse that means someone should have less responsibility for their actions. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS noted that there were probably plenty of other similar activities which exist that should allow for exemptions, but this equine issue was brought to him by a constituent who deals with these types of activities. They also found in their research that a lot of other states have these similar equine laws. There are a lot of frivolous lawsuits related to equine activities and presently the people involved with accidents should know better. Representative Davis stated that there was no "yes or no" answer to Representative Finkelstein's question. Number 1102 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move CSHB 479 (L&C) as amended from the House Judiciary Committee with attached fiscal notes and individual recommendations. There was an objection made by Representative Finkelstein. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN spoke to his objection. He felt as though there were lots of entities who would like exemptions from Alaska's liability laws and eventually if they exempt them all, there will be no liability laws left. People ought to be responsible for their actions and he saw no reason whey this equine exemption action should be taken. He added that if they do take this action, he felt as though they should include other trail oriented sports activities which are also big in the state. CHAIRMAN PORTER requested a roll call vote. Representative B. Davis, Green, Bunde, Toohey and Porter voted yes. Representative Finkelstein voted no. Chairman Porter then announced that CSHB 479 (L&C) had passed from the House Judiciary Committee. HB 318 - MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT DECLARATIONS Number 1180 CHAIRMAN PORTER then introduced HB 318 and invited Representative Toohey to paraphrase her sponsor statement regarding this legislation into the record. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY stated that this bill would allow an individual to make advanced directives regarding his or her mental health treatment. The person would need to be of sound mind when making the declaration which would designate an "attorney in fact" who would act only when the individual was determined to be incapable. The directives would address use of psychotropic medications, electroconvulsive therapy and the length of short-term admission up to 17 days to a treatment facility. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY continued that this declaration would be in effect for three years unless the individual became incapable, in this case it would continue in effect until the individual is no longer incapable. While an individual is capable he or she can revoke the declaration in whole or in part at any time. This declaration gives the individual the opportunity to make his or her wishes known about the treatments. Ones that have worked in the past and ones that he or she desires in the future as well as, treatment that has not worked in the past and would not be desired in the future. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY noted that this legislation provides for a substitute decision maker with whom the doctors would consult should the declaration not be specific enough or should the doctors recommend a treatment not specified. House Bill 318 is similar to an Oregon law. In Oregon they found that individuals who had fought hospitalization and medication in the past, now were more willing to go to the hospital because they had a declaration in place and they thought their decisions would be heard. REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY summed up by stating that HB 318 is supported by the Charter North Hospital, the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, Southcentral Counseling Center, the Alaska Psychological Association, the Mental Health Association in Alaska, and the Mental Health Consumers of Alaska, as well as the Department of Health and Social Services. Number 1335 LEONARD ABEL, PhD, Mental Health Services Program, Department of Health & Social Services, stated that he thought this was an important piece of legislation. He said that the department strongly supports this bill. Personally he became interested in this issue about 12 years ago when he was working at the Southcentral Counseling Center in Anchorage. He had a client with schizophrenia, someone who came under the diagnosis of individuals who have one or two psychotic episodes in their lifetime and spend most of their time stabilized. The patient spoke to him on one occasion and asked if there some kind of document she could sign in case she had another episode, a document which could direct her to go to the hospital and get medications. At that time as a clinician, he had to tell her that no, there was no such vehicle. This woman knew that if she had another psychotic episode, she would lose the ability to think logically and rationally. She would lose the ability to make good decisions about her care and treatment. She knew that it was likely that she would become paranoid, that she would be frightened of anyone who tried to help her. MR. ABEL continued that once she had a breakdown without this declaration someone would have to decide that she was a danger to herself or others, greatly disabled due to this illness and put her in a hospital against her will. Once at API the staff would possibly go through days and days of trying to convince her to take her medication. Eventually she would stabilize. A declaration of this type says in essence that if someone gets sick and looses their ability to deal reasonably with a caregiver, that person would still want to receive help. This person would want to be given medication or do whatever that would make them stable. At the same time this would give someone a chance to say, for example, that thorazine makes them sick and they'd rather not take this medication. This could be applied to electric shock as well, among other treatments. It would also be an opportunity to designate what methods of treatment work and what ones don't. MR. ABEL added there should be no added cost for this legislation to the system. It was pointed out that there actually might be a negative fiscal note. If people can be put into treatment quickly a lot of the costs associated with commitment hearings and side trips to local community hospitals enroute to API could be avoided. He strongly urged the committee to pass this bill. Number 1609 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked about another bill because of it's possible effect on this legislation now before the committee. He asked if there was any way that if this legislation was passed it could be construed into a possible bill that gives the right of an individual to terminate their own life. If a person is incapacitated could the "attorney in fact" act in this person's stead for other things besides treatment of mental illness. MR. ABEL noted that the title of the bill, "An Act relating to advance directives for mental health treatment," and the language throughout the bill states that persons who sign the declaration are making decisions about mental health treatment. He didn't think that life or death was mentioned anywhere in this statute. Number 1686 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY stated that this was the third time he had heard this bill and he still didn't understand what they're really trying to accomplish with this legislation. He pointed out that anybody can assign a power of attorney to somebody. It seemed that they were requiring that there be an outside judgment involved if this feared event happened. Until it's been diagnosed or confirmed by independent parties the person who holds a power of attorney can counsel caregivers because they have intimate knowledge of the intent of their custodial person, but these powers wouldn't go into effect until there is confirmation that this mental illness has set in. This was his interpretation of this legislation. MR. ABEL stated that a person may have a guardian or a conservator which are different types of appointments for different reasons. He didn't see this legislation affecting these other types of relationships. This legislation would appoint a very specific "attorney in fact" for the narrow purposes of acting on the person's behalf to acquire mental health treatment. Number 1850 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY responded that he understood this "attorney in fact" can not stand in and act as the individual's guardian until such time as some independent party makes a determination that mental illness has set in and the person is not capable of making decisions. He wasn't sure they were making a big step here. Without this law a determination is necessary that mental illness is involved and medical help is needed. Anybody can make a list of things which outlines their medical history and those treatments which they don't respond well to. He asked what they were gaining with a custodian or power of attorney to tell the medical professionals what the wishes of the patient are when these professionals are capable of reading a document. MR. ABEL said that the intent of this statute allows for a lesser level of disability which grants the "attorney in fact" the power to direct the treatment lesser than would be necessary for a commitment hearing. Number 2030 DOROTHY PEAVEY, Executive Director, Mental Health Consumers of Alaska, testified by teleconference from Anchorage. She noted that this legislation was a response to a lot of need which they have seen for a long time. It gives consumers a means to make their wishes known and to have some legal validity to these choices at a time when their decision making is poor and when their ability to be a good historian is also poor. Currently, there is a standard of competency which is determined by a court after a hearing. This legislation provides for a lower standard. This legislation was designed so that a person would be found incapable by either two physicians, one of whom has to be a psychiatrist or a physician in a professional mental health clinic or someone with a master's degree or higher in the mental health services, especially in the bush communities. This person would authorize a hospital stay up to 17 days. The declaration does have a fill in the blank format, so a person who fills out the declaration could designate that they only want to be hospitalized for four days before they would have to go to a commitment hearing, if they desired not to be in the hospital. MS. PEAVEY stated that currently, if a person does not wish to be in the hospital and they have to go to court to be committed, if they still refuse to take their medication, they have to go to a medication hearing. Both of these hearings tie up a lot of state resources, such as a judge, a physiatrist, the attorney general and a public defender. This can take quite a lot of time before these hearing may take place. If a declaration is filled out the patient has already designated the medication they're willing to take in the event of a relapse. If these drugs are not appropriate, the doctor has choices, first they can go to the "attorney in fact" and then make a decision about the medication or if they can't get permission at this point they can decline to provide services unless it's an emergency situation. Then they would have to use good medical judgment. Number 2333 RICHARD RAINERY, Executive Director, Alaska Mental Health Board stated that the board supports this legislation. They feel it provides consumers with an instrument of control over their own treatment which is currently lacking. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked about the absence of the definition of "sound mind" in the bill. He didn't know if there should or shouldn't be, but it seemed to him that there's an automatic suggestion of a way to circumvent the intent of this legislation by trying to establish that the person was not of sound mind when they completed the form, i.e. they had previous mental health problems. (Additional comments made by Representative Davies were incomplete due to the end of tape.) TAPE 96-37, SIDE A Number 063 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that in these situations there was probably some previous concern about the mental health of the principle, so to then say at some point subsequent to treatment, but looking forward to the fact that there may be an episode, is there one strike against the determination that this person is of sound mind already. He stated that maybe this issue wasn't worth dealing with. Number 122 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE concurred with Representative Davis and her point regarding this legislation deals with a mental health professional and they need to be willing to accept this professional's definition that this person at one time was competent to make this judgment through a declaration. CHAIRMAN PORTER said he didn't intend to create a problem that makes this more difficult, but to recognize this might happen, so maybe they should negate an avenue of attack. Number 225 TERRI LAUTERBACH, Esq., Legislative Legal and Research Services testified regarding Chairman Porter's question. The declaration of being of sound mind is in many types of other legal documents, such as a will. This type of document is not only applied to people with mental illness episodes, but someone might craft similar language in a living will for a possible car accident for example. The restitution of "being of sound mind" is normal, and could be crafted by a person who has never had a mental illness episode. She stated that hopefully these people would consult a lawyer. The form does allow for a disclaimer which states that these are important decisions and the person should consult a lawyer. CHAIRMAN PORTER pointed out for the sake of consistency on page 8, which deals with the affirmation of witnesses and the provision that witnesses state they know the principle. On the bottom of page 2, the witnesses again must attest that the principle is known to them and for consistency he suggested adding the word "personally" known to both sections. Ms. Lauterbach said that this couldn't hurt. Number 485 CHAIRMAN PORTER outlined this change by outlining the following amendment that on page 3, line 1, insert the word "personally" before the word known. This amendment would read, "...must attest that the principal is personally known to them,..." REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY objected. He stated that the traditional, customary manner of witnessing a signature in the state of Alaska is to have a signature notarized. For a person to travel to a state medical center in Anchorage if they live 400 miles away, it would be difficult or impossible to find two people who would sign a statement saying that they personally know the principle. This why we have notary publics to authenticate such signatures. He understood what the intent of the motion was, but he's had time to think and worry about this issue. Number 609 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE said he didn't see a problem with this. If he had to travel to a facility he would bring his declaration with him which would be already signed by family members or people who know him. There's a difference between proving who he is and proving that when he's making decisions about medical care that he really was in his right mind. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS noted that, yes, this declaration would be signed in advance. MS. LAUTERBACH understood that what they were attempting to do is to make two sections of the legislation consistent. If Representative Vezey had a concern about using these two witnesses rather than a notary, this is a different kind of amendment which would deal with different issues. Number 761 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY withdrew his objection. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that without further objection this amendment passed. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS made a motion to move CSHB 318 (A) with individual recommendations and the attached fiscal note as amended. There being no objection it was so moved. HB 359 - APPOINTMENT PROCESS FOR BDS & COMM'NS Number 822 PATRICK LOUNSBURY, Staff to Representative Porter presented information to the committee regarding HB 359. He noted that version (g) of this legislation was a result of the House State Affairs Committee meeting and added that version (k) of this same legislation was before the committee now. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if it was appropriate to note that the difference between these two versions was one word and basically that this change didn't have a substantive effect on the legislation. MR. LOUNSBURY said that this was correct and then referred to page 4, line 12 of work draft (k) and specified that the word "each" was introduced to clarify that a governor is not required to present names of persons appointed by a previous governor. This essentially takes care of any "lame duck" appointments, which is basically the intent of this bill. The phrase, "by that governor" was added in as well. Number 920 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN asked if there was any position from the administration regarding this legislation. CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that they had worked with the administration while presenting this legislation to the State Affairs Committee. The administration had some major concerns of the administration which had already been addressed. The existing minor concerns related to the fact that the legislation requires that forthcoming appointments are due in a shorter period of time than they used to be. This requires the administration to do more work in a shorter period time. Chairman Porter noted again that the administration had no substantive concerns regarding this legislation as of this time. Number 965 REPRESENTATIVE CON BUNDE noted that in the past they've had problems with individuals slated to serve on boards before they were actually confirmed. CHAIRMAN PORTER asked that Mr. Lounsbury be allowed to explain what this legislation does so that they can get a grasp on that first. Number 984 MR. LOUNSBURY stated that this legislation would require the governor to present to the legislature within 30 days of convening, the names of persons appointed who have previously been unconfirmed and the names of persons to be appointed, for example, an appointment made after 30 days of the session while the session is still in progress would be presented within five calendar days. This feature, which is basically the main thrust of this legislation, allows a new governor to appoint new people or reappoint the interim appointee selected by the previous governor. MR. LOUNSBURY continued outlining the bill by specific sections. Section 1 simply conforms the occupational licensing boards under the purview of this bill and these are boards such as the athletic commission, board of barbers, commercial services, etc. The next few sections just add on other boards established under this legislation's jurisdiction. Section 12 requires that all the boards conform to a March 1, expiration date of when boards are appointed or reappointed. This would allow the legislature to deal with this procedure during session. This would allow the governor to think about these appointments before and after this date. Section 13 of this legislation conforms the bill to how the prior boards dealt with vacancies and would conform to Section 14 of the bill. Section 14 is the "heart and soul" of the bill. Section 14 begins on page 4, line 8 and provides that any aspect of a general procedure in this statute can be modified by the legislature for any board or commission and brought under one umbrella. MR. LOUNSBURY again reiterated that on page 4, line 12, this language clarifies that the governor is not required to present names of persons appointed by a previous governor and that only a presentment during the session satisfies the presentment requirement. He further stated that this section allows the governor to present to the legislature within 30 days of convening, the names of those people who have not been previously confirmed and the people who have been recently appointed. The third sentence of this section provides that an appointment be made after 30 days of the session, ("this is all going to happen in the first year of catch up, so we can all come under March 1,") that the appointment made after 30 days of the session while the session is still in progress has to be presented within five calendar days to allow the legislature to act on it. On page 5, line 26 it provides that the duration of an appointment made during the legislature's interim ends when a new regular session convenes, but this appointee can be reappointed and presented for the confirmation process. "So if you catch someone in-between governors this would allow the new governor to accept the prior governor's appointment and would allow this to go through if this new governor chose to do this." Number 1280 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked if he understand that any appointment made in the interim even during a governor's term would then only be a temporary appointment which would have to be reappointed. MR. LOUNSBURY said this would be true and would expire on the first day of session. Number 1299 REPRESENTATIVE CYNTHIA TOOHEY asked about an individual who had been sitting on a commission for five years and the change has come about, but her name has never been mentioned, would she be automatically waived into this seat. If she has not been reappointed, she has not been removed, but going from one year to the next, does the omission of a name mean an appointment. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that the only names which have to be offered are new appointments. If someone is appointed for three years and they are confirmed that first year there is nothing which happens the second or third year. Chairman Porter noted that Jim Baldwin from the Department of Law was in attendance if anyone had any questions of him and then asked Mr. Baldwin if he had characterized the department's position correctly regarding this legislation. Number 1374 JAMES BALDWIN, Assistant Attorney General, Governmental Affairs Section, Department of Law responded that because there were about 1,200 offices which they are required to fill, having a significant portion of these coming to an end on a date certain would place a heavy burden on the governor's office to fill these vacancies and he noted the other legal issues which they already discussed in the conjunction with the State Affairs Committee hearing which were really ancillary to the main purpose of the bill. CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that fundamentally, what this bill is seeking to do is to eliminate the mess they had a few years back with an Alaska Public Utilities Commission (APUC) appointment and the resulting suit is still going on costing everyone a bunch of money. Basically what this legislation says is that appointments made after session is over, in any event, and especially by a governor who is leaving office, are not required to be carried forward by the next governor. The new governor may or may not bring a name forward, but that interim appointments "drop dead" if you will, at the end of the calendar year and may be reappointed by the governor, each governor, not the previous governor. There is also a provision which would allow that an appointment that wasn't otherwise submitted to the legislature in a timely fashion, that could have been during the session, does not continue so as to close the loop about being able to circumvent the confirmation process altogether. Number 1486 MR. LOUNSBURY added that regarding the heavy work load burden to the governor's office, since the boards are graduated, according to his calculations the worst case scenario would be about 80 appointments required in those specific months for each board affected. CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that bringing these appointments together during the session obviously is so they are confirmed and not spread out. Number 1527 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN asked if it would be a reasonable compromise to make this period 45 days. CHAIRMAN PORTER didn't think the concern was necessarily the length of time, but more the fact that all the proposed appointment names would be required all at once. Number 1557 MR. BALDWIN did agree with this observation. REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN wished to confirm with Mr. Baldwin that he was not opposed to the bill. MR. BALDWIN said he would merely repeat the testimony presented in the State Affairs Committee meeting. The department favors the concept (indisc. - whispering and paper shuffling) and this bill would clear up the legal issues. This bill would agree with the state's position presently in court, however there are some problems in the way the bill would operate. The department is in favor of parts of the bill to clear up the legal entanglements and stated that there are certain elements in the governor's office who are not happy with the bill and he was asked to convey this to Chairman Porter. Chairman Porter said that he could not accommodate their concerns regarding the deadline option. The Department of Law suggested an alternative, but it ran against a bigger issue which had to do with a concern about short term appointments and how this would be undermined. He said he was not authorized to say that they support the bill, but the administration has asked for many changes to this bill and he would estimate that three quarters of these have been addressed. Number 1695 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to move CSHB 359 (k) as the committees's adopted working version. There being no objection it was so moved. Representative Bunde then made a motion to move HB 359 (k) from the House Judiciary Committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note. There being no objection it was so moved. Number 1695 CHAIRMAN PORTER adjourned the House Judiciary Committee meeting at 3:07 p.m.